LBQ goes to the Paralympics

As a Londoner it's only right that I get into the spirit and support our athletes during the few weeks that the world is watching like never before. I didn't manage to get Olympic tickets (mainly due to my cynicism and disinterest when tickets went on sale... Imagine me complaining about millions of tourists and not being able to get to work) which I was massively gutted about after I became obsessed with watching every sport imaginable for two weeks. I really wanted to be part of the atmosphere and cheer on Team GB, so when I got the chance to join in with the Paralympics I jumped at the chance. We went down to see the Dressage events this week, and although we got drenched in true British style, had loads of fun. I have no clue whatsoever about Equestrian sports, but being wedged between two experts I found myself wanting a horsie of my very own to trot about with. The fact of the day was that the horses are allowed to bring a mate into the arena with them so they don't feel scared... How cute is that? Anyway, here are a few pics from when LBQ went to the Paralympics. Next week I'm off to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford and I can NOT wait!


Alesha Dixon is the face of Impulse

Before I was a grown-up I wore a lot of Impulse to school. I totally stocked up when there was a 2-4-1 in Superdrug and spent the hours after double hockey spraying my muddy, smelly boots with something sweet to hide the damp stench. I swear I spent half of Yr10 high on aerosol fumes because so much Impulse was sprayed around the classroom. Even though Impulse still brings back these memories for me, it appears they've moved on a little (even if I haven't) and signed Alesha Dixon to be the face of their newest addition. The new scent is simply called Sweet Smile and features exotic, fruity top notes of pear, mandarin and plum. Apparently 'lingering base notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and amber provide a lasting tone to the fragrance for all-day freshness.' Sounds a bit more sophisticated than the Impulse I remember!

Alesha says: "I've been a fan of Impulse for years, so I was flattered when they approached me to be the face of the latest fragrance, Sweet Smile. I really enjoyed taking part in the shoot and can't wait to stock up on the scent once it hits the shelves. It's perfect for a quick fragrance boost when I'm on-the-go during the day and is guaranteed to always put a smile on my face." I've yet to have a whiff of this, but I can't actually wait to do so. If it's good enough I won't even use it to de-pong my smelly hockey boots anymore... It may even get upgraded to my wellies.

Available now in Superdrug priced £1.99


Clarins Colour Accents Palette

We've barely had a summer, but already we're talking about the Autumn makeup looks we'll be showcasing after the sun finally sets. This cute bronzing palette from Clarins is the perfect way to make that seasonal adjustment while having something pretty to look at. The brand releases an Autumn palette every year, but this one is reminiscent of a Burberry design with it's lines and subtle colour/texture changes. Featuring four complementary shades to create a really natural three-dimensional look, the bronzer is a delicate shade that's perfect to take you into Autumn. It's not too dark (which is what you need when you have a tan) and features a little hint of pink (which goes to the bottom of the pan - it's not just for appearances!) to bring out the natural colour of cheeks. Even better is that the formula contains a Light Optimizing+ Complex to boost radiance and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Who knew a bronzer could be pretty and practical all in one!

 Available now from Selfridges priced £30.00


Louise Gray for Topshop

The latest collaboration to come out of Topshop is possibly my favourite ever. Louise Gray is a rather unconventional designer, focusing on clashing prints, bold colours and statement makeup that wouldn't look out of place at a fancy dress party. She's not into simplicity, doesn't like straight lines or elegant designs, so some of her clothes can be a little hard to wear! Louise has been part of Fashion Fringe for ten years and showcased at London Fashion Week the last three seasons, so she's been one to watch for some time. This collaboration just cements her position as one of the best talents to come out of the UK in recent years, with Topshop clearly seeing what the fashion editors have been praising for years. I've been lucky enough to meet Louise and she's as bold and bright as you'd imagine... Something she's clearly channeled into this partnership with Topshop, creating a range of makeup that expresses her love for experimentation.

The range includes lipstick, liners, cream blush, eyeshadow and these fab nail polished. Louise says: "My idea was to design for the Topshop girl a range that was young and fun, similar to both the fashion and make up I wear already. My mainline collections have always been about pushing optimism, colour and fun, I want her to experiment with the product, be daring and enjoy it." The polishes are quirky and unusual, taking an unusual twist on glitter polish. The gold shimmer has flecks of silver glitter which catch the light, while the blue has a combination of fleck sizes which overall make up a striking polish that's fun to wear. Both of these apply really well to nails in one coat, allowing you to also wear them over contrasting undercoats for a daring look. I wore these polishes to Reading festival and they were totally occasion appropriate, as well as lasting pretty much the whole time without looking too tatty. I love the pink detail on the lid of the polishes too, giving a hit of Louise's patterned designs without being to unattainable to the masses. A definite winning combination which I can't wait to see evolve into (hopefully) the next season.

The polishes are available exclusively in Topshop priced £6.50. See the full collection here.


LBQ goes to Reading Festival

So I've spent the last five days living in a tent, drinking far too much, eating far too little and drying my hands out with hygiene gel. Reading Festival has become somewhat something of a tradition for me; I've been going to practically every year since 2005. I love everything about it, from the little boat you have to get up the river, to the cramming in of the NME tent, to the stench of stale beer on day three and the awesome closing act on the Sunday night. This year some of my favourite bands (new and old) were playing, including Foo Fighters, Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines, The Maccabees, Niki and the Dove, Feeder and The Black Keys. Best of all though was a surprise set from my all time fave rockers Green Day... Rumours had been going around for a few days before so we kept our ears to the floor. Somehow we managed to figure out when and where they were playing, shot down to the NME tent first thing on Saturday and managed to be one of the first there, giving us an awesome view and an even better experience. Totally worth dragging myself up and out earlier than I've ever been up at Reading, especially with a mild hangover. I thought you might like to see some of my snaps from this weekend... Here's LBQ's Reading Festival in pics!


Getting summer ready with Boots

The last few months have been a bit up and down, sunny one day and raining the next, but that's no excuse for not being prepared for a little bit of hot weather when it crops up. Boots have got an ace range of products to help you prepare for when the sun does come out (believe it or not I got sunburnt this week!) so here are my top six steps for making sure you're in tip-top condition, whether you're chilling in the park or preparing to escape our shores for somewhere hotter.

Step 1: The all important moisturiser. Having soft, smooth and hydrated skin is the first step in any routine. Without a great canvas, everything else is just trying to put lipstick on a pig. (Not that I'm calling anyone a pig... You know that expression right?!) You should be moisturising morning and night to replenish skin and ensure it's well nourished when it finally gets to see the sun.

Step 2: Add a touch of bronzer to pale and pasty limbs. This temporary bronzer from Soltan is wash-on/wash-off so it's perfect for creating a bronzed goddess illusion before you get your tan on. You can apply with a mitt in a few seconds, the product giving you just a hint of colour without the sticky feeling or time taken for a tan to develop. You can even add this to your moisturiser (try 50/50 of each) for a subtle look if you're a tanning novice.

Step 3: Get tropical with your nails. The best bit about sunny weather is the fact you can be a bit more adventurous with your nail colour. Try a bright pink, bold blue or even a coral; make sure you go for something long-lasting and chip resistant too so your polish lasts as long as your enthusiasm! There's nothing worse than getting out of the pool with chipped nails.

Step 4: Don't forget to add a touch of bronzer. Use a delicate hue of bronzer like this from 17 Cosmetics to add a flush of colour to cheeks and around the face where the sun would naturally hit. Don't go for a shade that's too dark or it'll look completely unnatural and contrasting to your natural skintone. Use a large brush to buff into skin for a radiant glow with no sun required.

Step 5: Just add sunscreen. It's so very important to make sure you remember to bung on some suntan lotion to protect against sun damage - in this country we often forget (I'm always the one that ends up with sunburn after 15mins) that the sun is powerful and can burn us pretty quickly. This Soltan cream also helps to promote the skin's natural tanning process so you'll end up looking bronzed and beautiful.

Step 6: Repel the beasts. I hate getting bitten, yet I'm always the one that attracts the gnats no matter where I go. Before you run out the door for that picnic make sure you give yourself a spritz of insect repellent and you'll be as tasty as a vodka cocktail to those pesky winged things. It may seem a step too far for the UK, but trust me... You'll regret it if you don't!

So those are my top tips for getting ready for some hot weather. Here's hoping we'll have an Indian Summer and we can put them to good use. What are your top tips for looking summer ready?


Guest Post: Creating rose nail art

Hello everyone. This guest post will be a nail art tutorial for the design you see on the picture. It might look more difficult than it is but I'll try to break it down so you can recreate it for yourself.

Step 1: First apply your base coat to protect your nail.
Step 2: As your base color you'll want a sheer frosty white nail polish. Apply a thin coat of that nail polish to nails.
Step 3: With pink color of your choice create the french tips. If you have short nails you can do a straight line;  just place your brush on one side of your nail and while keeping it stable, roll your finger. If you have long nails you're better off creating a more traditional 'smiley' french tip.
Step 4: Once the pink color is dry add some multi-color glitter polish to the tips (optional step) by dabbing the brush onto the end of nails.
Step 5: On the ring and middle fingers add 2 roses on each finger. One rose must be smaller than the other to get the effect. To draw the rose just start creating small wavy lines in circle, making the lines slightly bigger as you go out.
Step 6: Between the 2 roses add some tiny black dots forming a bow. To do so, on one side of the roses start placing the dots in triangle shape. Do the same on the other side of the roses. Finally add 2-3 dots between the 2 roses to connect the triangles so it will look like bow.
Step 7: On the other 3 fingers add some tiny black dots along the french tip line.
Step 8: Apply your top coat and you’re done :) Enjoy.

Believe me it isn't as hard as it might look at first - if you try it I think you'll love it!

Today's guest post was written by Anne from www.fashionynails.com


Guest Post: Summer Nail Favourites

Hola! I have put together a set of Summer favourites that consists of things that I like when the weather is hot. This is the second Summer Favourite's post that I have done, you can catch my first one, all about what I love to listen to in the sun, over on my blog. Today I want to share with you my favourite nail colours that I have been wearing when the weather is hot.

Mavala, 203 Night Club
I love this shade and I love to wear it in the evenings as it is a lovely bright fuchsia which makes you look really tanned.

Rimmel 60 Seconds, 230 Portobello Pink
I am loving these Rimmel nail polishes, I am not amazing at painting my nails (Im not patient enough) but these are great and you can do them super quick.

Rimmel 60 Seconds, 415 Instyle Coral
This is the newest addition to my collection, This is a beautiful pinky coral that looks lovely with a tan

L'Oreal Resist and shine, Shade 155
These do not have fancy names for their colours, just numbers which I think is a little disappointing. any ho, this is a gorgeous pink again, unlike the Mavala polish, this has a plum undertone which is great for the more sophisticated affair

Rimmel 60 Seconds, 825 Sky High
I have to be honest, as you can see above I am a pink gal and have only really ever dared to try a coral however i don't know why I picked this colour up as it is non of those things... I have worn this this most over the summer months and have popped my coloured nail polish phobia

I hope you liked my selection of my favourite summer colours, I'd love to spread my wings further and try some more exciting colours and would love for you all to let me know what you have been wearing. Visit my blog @ productjunkiesjunk.blogspot.co.uk where you can catch up on my Summer Favourites posts, you can also come and follow me on twitter and read my rambles @pjjreview. I'd like to say a massive THANK YOU to The London Beauty Queen for letting me guest post on her blog, say hello to Bombay Bicycle Club for me! Ellen Hannah x


Guest Post: Homemade Banana Facemask

I go through phases when it comes to face masks – I either use them religiously every week or not at all. It’s a love-hate relationship. I’ve tried the budget beauty-enhancers that have yielded amazing results with regular use right through to the spa only complexion soothers that have made my skin erupt into a miniature homage of the Himalayas. But a homemade face mask? That’s never once entered onto my radar. This is my first DIY facemask so naturally I was dubious about the results. I Googled ‘natural homemade face masks’ and literally hundreds upon thousands of pages appeared – all dedicated to the art form of making mush for my mug. I settled upon a simple recipe for ‘adding radiance’ to my skin that was proving to be quite popular on the websites I visited. It only contained three ingredients so I didn’t think I go very wrong. 

2x Bananas
5x powdered almonds
1x 50g yoghurt

So off I went to the market for a couple of pieces of fruit and some ground up nuts. As the recipe never specified the type of yoghurt I had to use I chose to keep with the banana theme and take the neglected Muller Crunch Corner yoghurt that was languishing unwanted in the fridge and put it to some use. I mixed all of the ingredients together by mashing them up before I splashed warm water on my face, slathered this mess onto my skin and waited the suggested time of 5 – 7 minutes. Whilst relaxing (read: hoping no one would knock on the door) I thought about the ingredients and what beauty benefits I may gain from them individually.  Bananas are thought to have anti-aging properties and have - on more than one occasion - been cited as an acne preventative, almonds obviously exfoliate whilst allegedly eliminating toxins from the skin and yoghurt moisturises, soothes and apparently lightly bleaches any discolouration (I looked that one up – I admit it). 

Application was extremely messy so I highly recommend doing this on an easy-to-wipe floor as I dripped almost everywhere over my carpet and sofa. The texture isn’t for everyone - I don’t particularly like lumpy when it comes to products for the face (who does?) but this was bearable for such a short amount of time as the smell was so delicious. It felt cool on my skin and I didn’t feel any discomfort from tightening or tingling like I have from some of the masks available on the market. The mixture dried by the end of the allotted time of use so I washed everything off and patted my face dry.  To be honest I didn’t see that much of a difference but my skin did feel softer and smoother. I also smelt awesome – always a bonus. Although I’m not sure if I would try this recipe again, as I didn’t really get much of the ‘radiance’ this recipe was boasting, I am tempted to try other homemade face masks in future. There were some pretty interesting recipes out there and even if they don’t work properly there is always a silver lining to every situation – the mix tastes good and makes for a healthy snack.

Today's guest post was written by Helen from beautifullysuperfluous.blogspot.co.uk


Vaseline: Guess the flavour!

The fabulous people at Vaseline sent me a very intriguing package this week. Not only did it contain champagne truffles, a party balloon, bubbles, glitter, sparkles and sequins, but it also contained a very secret flavour of Vaseline that's going to be launched this September in Selfridges. Not wanting to let the secret slip out too easily, they sent me a number of clues to guess the flavour of the limited edition pot using my nobbin. The launch builds upon the limited edition Creme Brulee flavour of 2011 and will again no doubt be sought after by ladies with luscious lips across the land. I've got an inkling that this flavour may be something to do with celebrations and pinkness... Pink Champagne?

Vaseline also set me a challenge to decorate the plain, unbranded pot with all the various bits and bobs they sent me. I'm not very creative or artistic (the highlight of my school art career was drawing my shoe) but I've done my best! I started off using some glitter to create a zigzag effect, blobbing on superglue where I wanted it to stick. Building on this with some cute silver and gold sparkles around the edges, I then finished off the top with pink glitter to create a 'zebra' effect. (Check me all adventurous!) Sticking a little silver bow on to bring it all together, I was done! 

The challenge isn't just for fun though, oh no... If the Vaseline gods deem my design to be worthy (or my flavour guess correct) I could be in with a chance of winning a luxury trip to Paris, not only for myself but for one of you guys too! What better way to celebrate a Pink Champagne Vaseline than by drinking champagne up the Eiffel Tower? (That is, if it is Pink Champagne!) I love that Vaseline bring a bit of fun into a brand that otherwise is a little traditional, dull and basic - lip care should be fun and this is the perfect way to celebrate that! As they're always on the look out for new flavours, why not let me know your perfect Vaseline flavour in the comments box below... You never know, this time next year it could be about to launch! 

Limited edition Vaseline pot available this September in Selfridges
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